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Is America Still a Democracy?Gary G. Kohls MD for Salem-News.com
Or Have America’s Unelected Ruling Elites and Their Multinational Corporations Changed it into a Sociopathic, Quasi-Fascist Police State?
(DULUTH, MN) - I was one of many progressive Americans who were rudely - and belatedly - awakened to reality during the era of Ronald Wilson Reagan (old 666 himself) and his henchmen who forced through, with gleeful help from devious NeoConservative Republicans and compliant NeoLiberal Democrats, the massive borrowing and spending programs (that put America’s economy into a $4 trillion deficit, a deficit that benefited the military industrial complex, the nuclear weapons industry, and Reagan’s crony capitalists.
Prior to that era I had been the victim of a cunning and wide-spread deception and misdirection, I had been effectively brain-washed at the hands of my elected and un-elected rulers and thought-leaders that run America’s governing bodies, court systems, transnational corporations, and military.
Finally, during the 1980s I also became aware that I had been deceived by the nefarious entities that decide what gets published in America’s newspapers, magazines and books and also what is allowed to be broadcast in America’s corporate-controlled and increasingly monopolized radio, television, and movie industries.
I’m ashamed to say that it took me so long to wake up and become aware of the hidden, highly politicized bureaucracies that decide what is allowed to be taught in our public schools (especially about history), a reality that was pushed by Reagan’s cronies when they instituted the gradual destruction of the US Department of Education – not to mention the family farmers and many third world nations that had been seduced into taking out predatory loans from assorted banksters.
All those perpetrators were later identified and named by the Occupy Movement decades later as the One Percenters who have so ruthlessly used their power and wealth to dominate us “useless eaters” in the lower 99%.
Utilizing the famous boiling frog metaphor (check out www.boilingfrogspost.com), I am only one of many whistle-blowers who have been trying, seemingly in vain, to alert others about our increasingly dystopic world before it’s too late for our children and grandchildren to have a sustainable planet to live on. It is obvious to anybody who is paying attention that the environment that we are all immersed in is getting dangerously close to the lethal end point. My hope is that it is not too late. That hope is my motivation in writing my Duty to Warn column.
The Biggest Big Lie: Capitalism = Democracy
One of the problems that has kept me and many others so comfortably numb and unaware was the oft-used American pro-war campaign slogan to “make the world safe for democracy”. That seductive slogan was Woodrow Wilson’s well-intentioned phrasing in his speech before Congress on 4-2-17. Wilson was proposing to get the US to enter World War I against Germany. Unfortunately, as with most good ideas, that popular phrase has since been co-opted by war-mongers and greedy industrialists in their efforts to expand their commercial markets, and the frequent repetition of the phrase got me to believe that democracy was somehow equivalent to capitalism. In actuality, of course, the American military/industrial complex was making the world open to American militarism and safe for American capitalism (and all at the taxpayer’s expense).
Another consequence of Wilson’s mis-applied, jingoistic phrase, is the fact that in the process, many innocent, unaware, and equally brain-washed patriotic soldiers were sacrificed because of their naïve belief in that particular Big Lie. (In an essay about democracy at oziz4oziz.com/what-is-real-democracy.html, an Australian correspondent of mine, Tony Ryan, helpfully defines belief as ”the adoption of an attitude or position in spite of the evidence”.)
It has taken me far too long to overcome my trust in the capitalism = democracy Big Lie, but I have finally stumbled through the subterfuge and have seen the enormous differences:
# 1, democracy is a political system that is supposed to be, as Lincoln professed, of the people, by the people, and for the people and
# 2, capitalism is an economic system that generates excess wealth for the greedy few at the expense of the many.
Lessons from Nazi Germany’s Militarist/Capitalist System
After reading selected portions of William Shirer’s formidable 1500 page book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, I came to realize that America met most, if not all, of the characteristics of German fascism (see more at the end of this esssay). And it was then that I finally came to the realization that Germany’s traditional military and economic systems (ie, ruthless Prussian militarism and ruthless crony capitalism) very easily spawned and then nurtured Hitler’s agenda, finding enormous profits to be made in the build-up to war, the theft of resources from the occupied territories and the free slave labor in the concentration camps that greatly boosted quarterly profits and share prices.
Hitler, his Nazi Party elites and his conservative political and financial supporters all hated socialism, labor unions and communism as viciously as did America’s conservative captains of industry (who plotted a fascist coup d’tat against FDR and his New Deal in 1934 [for more details see http://whatreallyhappened.com/
Pope Pius XII (justifiably known as “Hitler’s Pope”) and his cronies in the Vatican also hated communism, which made Hitler’s fascist agenda much easier to achieve. Interestingly, most of America’s capitalists and militarists would have rather made war against the communist Stalin rather than the fascist/capitalist dictator Hitler, but Russia was a temporary ally of the Western capitalist nations during WWII.
Reading Richard Rubenstein’s The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future, led me to understand that the bureaucratic “chain of command” that is so indispensable in every form of government (whether monarchic, fascist, communist, socialist or democratic), is also essential in the workings of all major corporations, all militaries, all militias, all police institutions and all major religious bodies. The powerful influence of bureaucratic structures makes democracies very vulnerable to overthrow by dictatorships, military juntas, powerful corporations and/or other forms of potentially tyrannical ruling bodies. Germany’s bureaucracies, for example, hardly changed their allegiance of efficiencies when switching from Kaiser Wilhelm’s monarchy to the Weimar democratic republic to Hitler’s dictatorship.
Trying to De-Mystify American “Democracy”
So I thought it would be helpful to try to de-mystify some things about America that have confused me most of my life. Hopefully the random lists below will be helpful to others before the rolling coup d’etat that is being orchestrated by the ruling elite and their lapdog, bought-and paid-for millionaire politicians and Supreme Court justices is complete.
I often write about Friendly American Fascism, Corporatism, Sociopathic and Predatory Corporations. I have tried to warn readers how easy it is to deceive ourselves by thinking of America as a truly democratic nation, rather than as a nation that is rapidly being morphed, before our very eyes, into a fascist state led by sociopathic corporate predators. Read the definitions below before you decide to agree or disagree with that notion.
Communism, Capitalism, Fascism and Democracy
Communism: In communist systems unelected governments run the nation’s corporations, and they are backed up by the military and police who do the government’s bidding. Unelected privileged elites often benefit from the economics - at the expense of the citizenry.
Capitalism: In capitalist systems unelected corporations and their unelected wealthy ruling elites (“plutocrats”) run the nation’s government, and they are backed up by the military and the police who invariably do the bidding of the corporations and the ruling elite (the “1%”). The privileged elites benefit from the economics – at the expense of the citizenry.
Fascism: In fascist systems, unelected military officers and unelected police forces run the government, often heavily influenced by the (capitalist) ruling elite (the “1%”) and their unelected corporations. (Recall that capitalism is a mortal enemy of communism and socialism, systems where the working classes are fairly paid and the wealthy classes are fairly taxed, thus offering less opportunity for elites to acquire excess luxury wealth.)
Democracy and Socialism: True democratic and socialist systems are based on freedom, equality, the consent of the governed, and fair and unbiased elections that are not influenced by corporate money. In democratic socialism, governments do what is best for the well-being of the citizenry and NOT what is best for the well-being of the over-privileged wealthy elites, the corporations, the military or the police. In such truly democratic or socialist states, money that is spent on those often wasteful entities can be made available to fund programs of social uplift (affordable education, truly affordable health care, scientific research, full employment, elimination of poverty, freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from racism/discrimination, etc) which inevitably and naturally decreases domestic violence and other crimes and greatly decreases the need for militaries, prisons, law enforcement, lawyers, and other punitive entities.
Below is an expansion of the definition of the human condition called sociopathic or antisocial personality disorder (AKA psychopathy). Sociopathic individuals are essentially incurable and they and the corporations that meet the definition need to be separated from society, boycotted (in the case of corporations), and definitely not nurtured.
Further below, I expand on the term fascism. Fascists are usually overtly violent predatory sociopaths that justify serial lying, exploitation, cruelty, rape, murder, and torture. Both sociopaths and fascists can be attractive, charming, cunning and charismatic, and neither one can be trusted.
Sociopathy: It Applies to Predatory Corporations Too
Here is what Wikipedia says about sociopaths
Sociopathy/psychopathy is a personality disorder whose hallmark is a lack of empathy. Researcher Robert Hare, whose Hare Psychopathy Checklist is widely used, describes psychopaths as "intra-species predators” who use charisma, manipulation, intimidation, sexual intercourse and violence to control others and to satisfy their own needs. Lacking in conscience and empathy, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse". "What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony."
Psychopaths are glib and superficially charming, and many psychopaths are excellent mimics of normal human emotion; some psychopaths can blend in, undetected, in a variety of surroundings, including corporate environments. There is neither a cure nor any effective treatment for psychopathy; there are no medications or other techniques which can instill empathy, and psychopaths who undergo traditional talk therapy only become more adept at manipulating others.
Antisocial Personality Disorder DSM Code 301.7)
Below are seven criteria for diagnosing sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder (the terms are essentially synonymous) from the psychiatrist’s diagnostic and billing bible, the American Psychiatric Association’s best-selling DSM-IV (the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). (Note that only three of the seven items below are needed for a positive diagnosis):
1. Callous disregard for the feelings of other people
2. The incapacity to maintain human relationships
3. Reckless disregard for the safety of others
5. Deceitfulness (repeated lying and conning others for profit)
6. Incapacity to experience guilt and
7. The failure to conform to social norms and respect for the law.
Other common traits manifested by sociopaths (humans or corporations) include:
1. Lack of conscience
2. Lack of remorse for evils done to others
3. Indifference to the suffering of its victims
4. Rationalizes (makes excuses for) having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others
5. Willingness to exploit, seduce or manipulate others
6. No sign of delusional or irrational thinking
7. Cunning, clever
8. Usually above average intelligence
9. Always looking for ways to make money or achieve fame or notoriety
10. Willing to cause or contribute to the financial ruin of others
12. Cannot be trusted to adhere to conventional standards of morality.
Here is what two different authors have to say about fascism. Both of them have studied the history of fascism. In Naomi Wolfe’s list, note that almost all of the steps listed are designed to frighten, threaten, or imprison dissenters. Fascism works best in the presence of a police state reality.
10 Easy Steps to Fascism from “End of America” (Naomi Wolfe, author)
1. Invoke terrifying internal and external enemies
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Punish dissent as treason
10. Suspend the rule of law
The 14 Characteristics of Fascism (Lawrence Britt, PhD)
1. Powerful Nationalism/Patriotism
2. Racism/Human Rights Violations
3. Unification by Scapegoating Perceived Enemies or Outsiders
4. Powerful Militarism
6. Press Censorship/Control
7. Strong National Security State
8. “Merger” of Church and State
10. Suppression of Trade Unions
12. Obsession with Law and Order
13. Corrupt Crony Capitalism
14. Fraudulent Elections
Dr Kohls is a retired physician who practiced holistic, non-drug mental health care for the last decade of his career. He is involved in peace, nonviolence and justice issues and therefore writes about mental ill health, fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, imperialism, totalitarianism, economic oppression, anti-environmentalism and other violent, unsustainable, anti-democratic movements.
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